The deportation of 51-year-old John Edward McNicholl ended an eight-year battle with the immigration authorities, which charged that he had entered the country illegally and had links to terrorism. McNicholl, a former member of the Irish National Liberation Army, had attempted to get a visa in 1990, but had failed to disclose the fact that he had been imprisoned in the mid-1970s, charged with murder and attempted murder. The visa was denied, but McNicholl entered the country surreptitiously for the second time later in 1990.
McNicholl, whose wife, France, is a naturalized U.S. citizen, has three children born in the U.S. and has worked for many years as a pipe fitter. His children are aged from 13 to 17.
Jack Worrall, an economist at Rutgers University and president of the Federation of Irish Societies, who has known McNicholl for 10 years, expressed his shock and dismay at the deportation.